This idea and commitment to quality brings us to the 2022 vintage, a particularly tough vintage for Napa Valley and one that challenged all growers and winemakers in new and surprising ways.
The 2022 vintage was initially progressing well despite a continued drought. August was sunny and mild and though we expected lower yields, the outlook among winemakers was generally optimistic. Then, in early September, an extreme heat wave struck, bringing vineyard temperatures up to 110 degrees for several days in a row. Grape vines are resilient and can cope with a day or two of high temperatures, but the unrelenting heat of September was unprecedented. The vines struggled to stay active and left us uncertain of what this vintage would yield.
Every year, the ultimate decision we make in the cellar always comes down to selecting the best possible lots to bottle. At every turn, if something's not up to Schrader’s standards, it waterfalls down into other projects. For the 2022 vintage, we found that some of our lots, including those intended for Old Sparky, did not meet our qualitative standards and so we have chosen to bottle only a limited selection of wines. This year, our offer will be limited to our Heritage Clone, Monastery Block, Wappo Hill Vineyard, and To Kalon Vineyard bottlings and will be available in limited quantities.
As for the wines that we have chosen to bottle this year, I am exceptionally pleased with the quality and character of them. They showcase the dense fruit, broad structure, vibrant energy and longevity that will be the hallmark of the wines from the 2022 vintage.
No matter how many vintages we have under our belt, there is always more to learn and the 2022 vintage was no exception. Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue on this journey together and pursue our mission to bring you the best Cabernet Sauvignon that Napa Valley has to offer.
Thomas Rivers Brown